POLL: Sleeping Single in a Double Bed

It was the title of a popular 1970’s Barbara Mandrel song, and for some couples it’s the best way to assure a good night’s sleep.  “It comes to mind “To have and to hold’…unless you snore,” jokes family therapist Lori Vann.  For many, medical conditions and snoring is reason enough to either get another bed or move into another room altogether, and Vann says that makes sense.  “I can understand if there is a medical condition involved, but that’s when you have to work on intimacy in waking life that much more.  You have to raise your game that much more.” 

For many couples, it’s a difficult trade off.  Intimacy is crucial in a successful marriage, but a good night’s worth of eight hours of sleep is also crucial to good health.  Vann warns to not entirely surrender one for the other.  “If we’re looking at 50% of marriages fail, how many of those are because they’re sleeping in separate bedrooms?”  She suggests considering sleeping arrangements before walking together down the aisle.

The National Sleep Foundation, who conducted the study, says if sleeping together is a problem, it needs to be discussed thoughtfully and with sensitivity.  They suggest adjusting head or body position if snoring is the problem, or avoiding alcohol before nighttime, or perhaps investing in earplugs.  They recommend trying more comfortable bedding and pillows to see if that makes a difference, and negotiating the bedtime rules and roles.

Then you have to figure out where the dog will sleep.

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